Why the arrest, capture or killing of Madvi Hidma would weaken the naxal movement further
New Delhi, Apr 18: The National Investigation Agency has declared a bounty on Madvi Hidma, the dreaded naxal leader who is the mastermind of the massacre on 22 security personnel in Chhattisgarh''s Bastar region. Sources tell OneIndia that getting to Hidma would be a major success as his arrest, capture or killing would weaken the naxal movement further.
Hidma (45) has been on the radar of the security forces for long. Hidma heads the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) battalion no. 1, the strongest military formation of the rebels in Dandakaranya which covers parts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Maharashtra besides the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
At a time when the activities of rebels in the Bastar region were appearing to be on the wane, Hidma hit back in a brutal fashion to make his presence felt and prove that the armed movement was very much alive in Chhattisgarh.
Believed to be the chief architect of various deadly attacks on security forces in Chhattisgarh in the past decade and beyond, Hidma is being blamed for the April 3 ambush in the Bastar region which left 22 CRPF and police personnel dead and 31 others injured.
Hidma joined the Naxal movement in the late 1990s as a ground-level organiser.
He came under the scanner of security agencies for the first time after the 2010 Tadmetla attack in Chhattisgarh wherein 76 troopers were killed.
He had then assisted another dreaded Maoist leader Papa Rao in executing the attack. Since then, his name crops up every time there is a major attack on security forces in Bastar.
Well trained in guerrilla warfare, Hidma carries an AK-47 rifle and his cadres are equipped with sophisticated weapons. A four-layered ring of armed cadres around him has kept him away from the reach of security forces.
For the last few years, security forces have been consistently carrying out intelligence-based operations in interiors of Bijapur and Sukma to target him, a police officer said.
However, his deep knowledge of the forested area and tough terrain have helped him to avoid getting caught, the officer said.
However, recent operations by security forces in the core areas of Maoists have created immense pressure on senior leaders, including Hidma, he said.
Hidma has developed an image of a hero among his cadres and eliminating him would be a major step towards weakening the Maoist movement in Bastar, the officer said.
Hidma has been named in a slew of major Naxal strikes, including the Jhiram valley attack in Darbha, Bastar in 2013 that killed frontline senior Congress leaders like Mahendra Karma, Nand Kumar Patel and V C Shukla.
Another strike bearing his imprint was the Burkapal ambush of April 2017 that claimed the lives of 24 CRPF personnel.
Accused of murder of several security personnel, Hidma, mostly confines himself to the south Sukma region which is his base area, the officials said.
His wife Raje is also an active member of the CPI (Maoist) and has been linked to several major Maoist strikes.